Apple has Won a Patent for the Mac Pro's 3D Structural Design that could one day extend to a Future iPhone
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 77 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's invention related to the new 3D Structural design of the Mac Pro tower and back of the Pro Display XDR. The design is to provide maximum airflow to keep devices running cooler. As future iPhones are destined to use more powerful processors and GPUs, Apple's engineers spent a lot of time in this patent illustrating that the new 3D structural design may be headed for a future iPhone Pro model.
Apple notes in their granted patent that an iPhone's internal and external structural components can be formed from and include regions of a three-dimensional structure that can include one or more cavities extending into the body from a first surface of a body and one or more cavities extending into the body from a second surface of the body.
One or more cavities extending into the body from the second surface of the body can intersect with or interfere with one or more cavities extending into the body from the first surface of the body to form a three-dimensional pattern of apertures or passageways in the body, maximizing surface area while maintaining structural integrity.
In some examples, the three-dimensional structure may initiate on an outer surface of the body, including cavities from different directions intersecting or interfering with one another, without extending to the innermost surface of the body as presented in the patent figures below.
In respect to patent FIGs 4 and 6 above, Apple notes that the cross-brace #306 can include regions having the three-dimensional structure formed therein. According to this example, the cross-brace can be sufficiently strong to prevent deformation or deflection of the housing (#301), while adding little weight, due to the regions having the three-dimensional structure formed therein. Any number of components of an electronic device can include regions having the three-dimensional structure formed therein, either for structural enhancements, weight savings, or thermal energy transfer.
This is Apple's second patent win for this airflow design with Apple emphasizing the spherical cavity and/or cavities. Below are a few of new patent claims:
Patent Claim #1: An electronic device, comprising: a body having a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface; the body defining a pattern of repeating base units extending between the first surface and the second surface, each base unit comprising; a first spherical cavity on a first plane; a second spherical cavity on the first plane and at least partially intersecting the first spherical cavity; a third spherical cavity on the first plane and at least partially intersecting the first spherical cavity and the second spherical cavity; a fourth spherical cavity on a second plane, the fourth spherical cavity intersecting the first spherical cavity, the second spherical cavity, and the third spherical cavity to form a through hole passing between the first plane and the second plane.
Patent Claim #10: A housing for an electronic device, comprising: a body having a first surface and a second surface; the body defining a first set of spherical cavities extending into the body; the body defining second set of spherical cavities extending into the body and eccentrically intersecting the first set of spherical cavities to form a hexagonally close-packed pattern of spherical cavities in fluid communication with a first set of apertures defined by the first surface and a second set of apertures defined by the second surface.
See Apple's granted patent 10,966,343 to review the details of the invention and more specifically review all 20 new patent claims for this invention.